Taking the time to look after yourself before you burnout and or get sick is one of the greatest preventative medicines out there. Self care in essence is a simple concept and yet so many of us struggle to make the time for ourselves. Perhaps it’s that some of us feel guilty and a little selfish making our happiness and wellness a priority, or maybe there’s just no time in our busy schedule for something that feels more indulgent that it does necessary but for whatever reason self care activities often get put on the back burner.
I have to put my hand up and say that I’m pretty guilty of getting to busy and forgetting about making time for myself. So how do I keep myself in check, firstly I wrote out a list of all the things I can do for myself so that I have an easy go to and then I try to do a couple of things from the list each week. Quite often when I hit a low I’ll realised that I’ve stopped doing some of the key things I usually do for myself and lets face it sometimes things just turn to shit. In those moments I get extra kind with myself, whatever the circumstance there’s no blame or judgement. There’s no you shouldn’t have dropped the ball or how did you create such a mess I only ask myself what do you need right now…
Then I return to my list and I plan a few nice things I can do for myself, I change up my routine if I can and I identify if there’s anything that isn’t serving me and needs to go. Letting go of things is of course easier said than done but acknowledging something doesn’t serve you is a great start to freeing yourself from the weight.
So my all important list, I want to share my list so that you get a few ideas for what you might like to do for yourself and you may even be inspired to make your own awesome self care list. I made sure that my list is a combination of simple cheap/free things and some more indulgent things for when I need a little extra self love. I think it’s also important to have a mix of movement based self care activities – that beautiful body of yours was designed to move – and more meditative activities that allow you to drop into clam and stillness.
Without further ado here’s my list
- Stop to take a few deep breaths – there’s nothing more grounding and calming than a few deep breaths
- Practice Yoga – while it’s super brilliant for your physical body to get the stretch and strengthening that yoga cultivates part of the success of yoga is the awareness and mindfulness that it also cultivates.
- Drinking my morning tea in silence and really soak up the morning
- Dry brushing my body before a morning shower – while its great for your skin it’s also a great mindfulness practice
- Get a massage
- Go for a walk in nature (bush trails, bare foot beach)
- Make and enjoy bone broth – It’s probably the closest thing to a hug in a cup
- Go for run – a little endorphin boost is always a good thing
- Go for a float session – if you’ve never had a float experience do yourself a favour it’s awesome
- Have a mindful meal – this one is kind of great, you eat less and appreciate your meal more. It basically means that you eat in silence and as you put each mouthful for food in your month you put your knife and fork down and take the time to properly chew your food once you have swallowed your food then you pick up your knife and fork again. It’s amazing when you’re not used to it how much you will go to pick up your knife and fork before you have finished.
- Do something silly fun – grab a friend and go to one of those kids adventure places and bounce, climb and laugh like a child
- Disconnect – turn off the phone. laptop, tablet and have some technology free time
- Write yourself a love letter – remind yourself of all the reasons why you’re wonderful, you deserve the best of your own love
- Take a nap – sometimes I’m exhausted but I feel really guilty taking a nap, I worry about all the other things I should be doing but I’ve learnt that the world won’t fall over if I take a short nap and all those things get done a lot better when I’m energised
- Have a bubble Bath – Lots of bubbles, lots of lavender oil and it wouldn’t be complete without some candles to set the mood and maybe a cheeky glass of red
- Meditate – if you’re new to mediation or find it a bit of a struggle on your own there are some really great apps that can help teach you techniques and guide you through your experience. Two of my favourite are 1 Giant Mind and Calm.
- Clean up – When my head gets messy my space will often get messy too or maybe it’s when my space gets messy my head gets messy either way I always feel so much better when I clean up my room and have things in order.
- Have a good clean out – Less is more. It always feels so nice to give away things that I no longer need. I love feeling of filling up a garbage bag of old clothes and taking it down to our local salvation army store.
- Journal – I like to give myself topics to journal about, we did this at our yoga teacher training and it was so constructive that I’ve continued to come up with topics to explore or sometimes I will just write about whatever is relevant at the time either way it always feels great to get things out on paper.
- Puzzles – I’m exposing my inner nerd here but I love myself a puzzle! Research shows that doing jigsaw puzzles increases the production of dopamine in the brain – the chemical responsible for memory and learning.
- Sit in the sun – Sensible amounts of sunshine not only help your body synthesise vitamin D but it also enhance mood and energy through the release of endorphins and have been found to lower pressure and help you sleep better.
- Read something for the pure joy of reading – I often have my head in uni books but it’s great to pick up something that I really just enjoy
- Getting my hair done or a mani or pedi – ladies you understand why this one is so nice
- Plan an activity with friends – I love little adventures; It might be weekends away, lunch at a winery, a trip to a market, a little bit of kayaking or maybe rock climbing just something to get right out of the normal routine.